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tv   John Mc Manus Fire and Fortitude  CSPAN  August 18, 2019 7:40pm-9:01pm EDT

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>> one reason kids who score low on those tests if they don't have the background knowledge to understand the reading passages. it's not that they can't make an entrance, they make inferences in their lives all the time. some toddlers can make an inference, so that isn't a problem so much as they lack the background knowledge and vocabulary to understand, and that has been a big problem. >> tonight, 9 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> now the real reason we are all here. tonight's featured author is considered to be the leading expert on the history of modern american soldiers and combat. his best-selling and
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award-winning books include the dead and those about to die, september the and deadly sky. john is a curator's professor for military history at the missouri university of science and technology. he recently finished a one-year visiting professorship at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis and served as a guest commentator i and a history channel documentary on d-day. the latest book by air and fortitude is the first installment of a two-part history o of the u.s. army durig world war ii. fire and fortitude, the tragedy and triumphs of the soldiers from pearl harbor to the battles and the islands. based on extensive research from government archives and academic collections, fire and fortitude
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is a riveting narrative with a masterful historian profound insight. please help me welcome our future author st. louis hometown boy, john mcmanus. [applause] >> thank you, jessica, i appreciate it. the whole library staff and i would like to thank my publicist for helping make this possible and my executive editor who came up with that title by air and fortitude, so i have to give him credit. i would like to thank all of you for making time in your schedule to come out here tonight and listened to what i think is an incredible and compelling story. one that i've been working on for the better part of a decade
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or so of the research and writing, so it's quite exciting for me to see this come together tonight. of course the venue is perfect because i love the county library. i grew up here of course an open question whether i ever really did grow up. [laughter] naomi might indicate otherwise, but indeed i did, and decided it's partially because of the influence of this remarkable institution, a place where i came to love books and in a world of books and writing so much. tonight, but i'd like to do is maybe bring this to life for you a little bit, maybe revise somewhat and give you a thing of how this shakes the world today. when you check out this map, you can see it taking place over this huge expensive geography. one third of the world's
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surface, massive amounts of goshen, confident, islands so vast there was no way that one theater commander could hope to command at all from the geographic plaintiff view, but also because the army and navy leaders could never agree to that one commander would be. it was partially a compromise. you take a glance and you can get a sense of the scale and problems inherent i also want to address our popular perception that the marine corps fault the entire war in the pacific and that the navy did pretty much everything else. the army did the vast majority of the fighting in the pacific theater and yet, all of us there is no shame in it if you believe athat as you walk through the door tonight they didn't have much of a role in the pacific because that tends to be the
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possible american memory. they recently made this statement they sat down and decided they would fight in europe. others might have conversations with come even though this to be the pacific. one said i didn't even know the army was in the pacific. so, that is kind of what we are up against. what i hope to do is not at all to denigrate the marine corps, quite the contrary. it's not a very big service. it was mobilized in the six divisions which is the largest it has ever been. and incredible fighting but it wasn't designed to handle the vast scale of this kind of bir
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birth. i want to focus it isn't designed to diminish or minimize the marine corps contribution in fact, quite the contrary and you see this in the book fighting shoulder to shoulder having to figure out how to work together to. learning lessons from the band whether they want to admit it or otherwise. why the obscurity there are several reasons. the priority of the resource went to europe and then the priority of prosperity have gone to europe and i wouldn't necessarily argue that. the pacific theater of operations again glance at the map and look at all that. certainly they have a nature role in that war and i wouldn't dispute that.
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the domination of douglas macarthur as the lead figure sucking the oxygen out of the room for pretty much everybody else, colleagues or otherwise but also on the flipside of that might give an indication if someone of his status within the pacific perhaps there were some major assets and that is true. the unbalanced press coverage at the time, think about it if you are a war correspondent at the time, you will probably go to the europe because it's a bigger war and there is more process support a. another factor the racial savagery isn't always pleasant to look back on and remember when we think of world war ii as a supposed that good war. i think o of it as an oxymoron t that is our popular memory of the war.
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the humiliating nature of the early defeat in which japan gleamed the allies clocks isn't particularly fun to think about and another factor i think is the exotic alien love how come the places that were important at the time but were quite forgettable to americans before and after the war, places like guadalcanal, new guinea, where every would be. if you think that the subsequent years discussing with her husband or wif wife a wife the d to her that you want to do and saying should we go to the jungles this year or guadalcanal or new guinea, that is a tough one. it's going to be hard to sort that out, so that's pretty easy to figure out. 1.8 million american soldiers
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served in the pacific and that doesn't include the army air force which of course is part of the army and just including the ground soldiers. that was a third largest army in this country hathis country hast overseas to fight a war behind the theater army in world war i. a big. of 15 in the spring of 1945 in the philippines over a five-week period. out of 35. just that one unit alone. the marine corps mobilized at full strength for six divisions of large and the army was almost four as large in the combat units. it's a broader perspective to think about that a minute so maybe i am speaking up for the
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these. they didn't have the good fortune in the sense of prosperity to fight on the battlefield with normandy and received those glades but they fought just as hard. there's a lot of legacies and things to learn from, so we've established this in the first place after all these years the atomic bomb for instance the sort of ultra- code breaking and all that have seen a lot of great work done but i wouldn't say it is over with, but a lot has been done and the thing i
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found that there was massive amounts of material for a story that hasn't been sold out quickly and then loads of great material to tell it. one of the things i found is a great deal of japanese stuff. japanese soldiers, because they didn't anticipate any of them would ever be captured because this was of course forbidden in the japanese army. japanese soldiers kept diaries. they were not trained to clam up the way that they were an in for when they were killed, they could be captured and so thousands of them were captured, translated by the translators and deep in the archives pretty remarkable stories to be found. so the book, as jessica indicated, strikes through the end of 1943 and it's certainly a combat comical but it's more
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than that. it is this feeling with all of the foibles of this thing, combat leadership, incredible did you see the army default from this provincial force things that give meaning to the story and give us things to learn from all these years later. example, i indicated this a moment ago, but it foretells it's pretty much all of subsequent american force the way they will be fought from korea for the 21st century against opponents who largely recognized as americans would have understood them under the geneva convention, and then in turn from the pacific war and
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onward through today are then struggling with their own morality and whether they can hold up to the stand and have two turnabout against their enemies. that is a harbinger that you see with a few exceptions like grenada, panama, mogadishu. every war has been fought somewhere on the continent. the pacific war is sort of the harbinger of death. most of the american war have been fought and decided on the ground but the actual fighting has tended to take place on the ground and to the tune of 90% of our deaths since world war ii. most of that has been done by army soldiers. the other thing american soldiers in the pacific theater, world war ii, carried out for a cultural understanding and missions in places like burma
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and china and the philippines and the islands of the south pacific that you can equate the special forceaspecial forces mie later generation that continues to the 21st century today. you are already seeing that in the pacific theater and the european theater with permissions and all that. but it's not quite the same as in the pacific and in cultural goals. you see the vital importance of the coordination. think about it from the army commander point of view are you going anywhere without the need in the pacific, zero. everybody has to get on the ship and go some where. you've got to coordinate and vice versa. much less, the marine corps as well. dealing with allies, some of whom of course are very close to the americans culturally and whatever else he may be amazed how contentious the horror in world war ii and incredibly denis at times. much less the greater cultural
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gap in understanding inheritance trying to work with the nationalist chinese that is just so reminiscent of what the americans are going to experience a generation later dealing with the south vietnamese in the vietnam war. so it unleashes all of these kind of ten jens, powerful nationalistic idealistic ethnic forces they couldn't hope to control. the nationalist movements in the war in places like china, malaysia and indonesia, and of course vietnam. as you can imagine, there's a lot of battles and issues and personalities object a objects d discuss in depth to get a full appreciation of that you have to buy the book and read it all, so that's always my various agenda. we could open up the page number one but that would be pretty dull.
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these baby come they the feel of the fire and fortitude and i hope by extension the experience in the pacific war. let's start with the great elephant in the room can b, thes were mentioned douglas macarthur a man whose ego on a good day might have it in the grand canyon and possibly. by world war ii, he'd really been around the block. he was in his 60s. he was a west point class son of a general, very prominent, but his father was a civil war hero who had a medal of honor for valor and deserved it for his service in the civil war he ascended the lieutenant general and commanded forces in the philippines that began a love affair between the family and the philippines and its people. and the douglas inherited about
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and had many pores of duty. he came to prominence during world war i as a brigade commander earned many medals for valor and what's interesting about macarthur and this is interesting in its psyche he viewed himself as an outsider, people plotting against him in washington or who had other agendas that doesn't jive with his. they were sabotaging hemp. but if you step back from this more objectively, it is the ultimate army insider. the son of a general who was able to pull some strings for his, for douglas, and his mother would write letters to everyone from general pershing on down to promote career with greater success. douglas was the younger of two
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brothers. his older brother was actually in the navy and had a very prominent courier and then died in 1921 of appendicitis of all things. not long before that, her husband had been speaking at a veterans event and collapsed and died. so, really to her the life and career meant everything. he becomes the young army chief of staff at 50 something, something his father had done. but you always see this lifelong tendency like those rules don't quite apply to me. he will always have that kind of element about him so chief of staff in the early to mid-50s and not a really happy experience for him because of
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the force of readiness, nobody wants to spend on a literary stuff and so you end up not coming back for another term and return to developinreturned to r the invitation of the president who was beginning to stand up for philippine government and what happened when congress passed the act of saying we are going to get the independence in 1946. so they have an assembly and then armed force armed forces at so that's where macarthur comes in the second half going to the philippines to create the filipino armed forces. he becomes a field marshal, really kind of a hollow title. he took someone with him who was quite obscure and will come to prominence later, dwight eisenhower, you may have heard of him. he worked with him when douglas was chief of staff and eisenhower then goes to the philippines for about three
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years. mcarthur and his defense was such lousy funding into serious problems tryinproblems trying tr any kind of military force because of the diffusion of islands it's made up of at least 7,000. no one could control the different languages and traditions into this stuff so you might have a national guard unit with 30 or 35 guys and six or seven languages represented. how do people communicate and work together there is no weapon or money for it. very frustrating. was there an american military force of things, yes, a lot of engineerengineers and coastal td also the philippine scouts highly prized to get into the u.s. army.
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so, you have the british model and it's about 20 to 25% and the rest they are armed, trained and equipped and run by the americans. so, he is recalled to active duty on the eve of the war and is giving three-star rank and then eventually force for to come into force in the philippines and they thought about this a long time and come up with the war plan which will boil down because it is possible army doctrine thing, but the bottom line is it says there's no way because the japanese proximity is no way we can defend and then the island where
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manella is over here. we just can't do that. so what we are going to do when and if the japanese d to invade, we are going to be treate retree peninsula which is excellent defensible ground, a lot of religious and mountains you can stymie the japanese and then they will fly to the major bluewater open engagement and of able get through so we are not going to try to defend the whole post and everything. mcarthur looks at that and says no way. we are going to defend and strengthen out we've go thoughtl along the coast and we are going to stop the japanese right near the water line. though he left both i believe seldom in history as the
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commander so badly mismanaged the campaign and then is perceived at the countrymen of the time in many sense as a great battle captain perhaps even a genius. his position is difficult with r this error is mainly this one made things worse. he loses his book on the ground with 16 hours of pearl harbor knowing that the hostility commenced. there is a whole series that happens there with miscommunications and so on and so forth that i will not bore you with, but the bottom line is he is the one in charge. they destroy at least half the aircraft on the ground and what that means if they are not going to control the air around the philippines which means the controversy which means they can land people wherever they want to regardless of where you have your troops deployed. and that is precisely what happened. so, later in december they landed in two places in the
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northern part and southern parts they set up the airfield to protect their ships and they have a main landing a the main e golf, which is right about there. then moves down towards manella from both directions and by about christmas time, macarthur comes to realize maybe it had something to recommend because the army just melted away. you are a philippine army soldier. you are up against a better trained armed force. you are not outnumbered. that is propagated by the headquarters. in fact be outnumbered by factors of 2-1 during this campaign so you are not outnumbered you just don't control the air and see. to his credit he doesn't just jt
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claimed that a plan he says let's just go back and get our people out of wherever they are and then we will hope for the best. they declare this an open city and the japanese are going to take thagood thatway the end of. they get there partially because it is going pretty well considering the circumstances and considering the chaos but also because they don't have enough people and the ability to destroy them. they just don't have that. by early january, the army has made it, but there is a tremendous consequence for what has happened. they've been scattered all over because of the changes so you have the other supplies forward and wherever you were disposed here instead of waiting out the
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consequence you can't get it to where it needs to be. 10 million pounds were stored at the central part. macarthur refuses to give orders to move it. they said please don't do that i'm worried the population will panic. he won't even let his men appropriate to japanese warehouses and food parcels and packages in the warehouses and manella. so you have terrible consequences that eventuall that from disk and by the time you are in the first week of january, you are at a really dicey situation. they estimated the following situations i like the first week of january. we have 30 days of ration, 50 days of canned meat or fish, 20
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days left of canned milk, 30 days of flower, tomatoes and 20 days of rice and that's it. for an army of about 8 80 plus o almost 100,000, not to mention a civilians who were there. and turned to local food resources, not really they were slaughtering 30 to 40 per day. mainly those which by the testimony of the veterans who were part of this it's very tough, not enjoyable to try to eat without 30 to 40 per day which meant 6 ounces per day program. they put an end to phishing and used all of the local population. what that meant for you if you are down to half and then quarter by february or so. you are me and probably diseased at that point. the japanese are in much better shape if that is about the only
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good. they are not in good shape either. they are too ambitious to try to launch behind the allied line and there were disasters. already you see the ten chin in this war for fighting rather than surrendering. so, they are fighting really hard and cannot seem to squelch macarthur the army. one army doctor wrote as one of the invaders behind the line as a perimeter pieces i've made up my mind. i will not have a disgraceful and an. i went back and told them it is more honorable to die as a pistol shot and captured. that is what he and so many others did. the japanese commander eventually had to bend reality which meant he lost faith, the
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japanese were losing time, they had other fish to fry carry it to them this was a crisis situation and it bought them some time, but of course macarthur will tell this troops and this is a little irresponsible, bu that help wasn the way. he writes in a communication they are being dispatched and by the time of the arrival it is unknown. it's imperative they fold until the reinforcements arrive. if you solve the battered bastards. the general himself was on an island that is at manila bay. that's where his headquarters were. american engineers have turned it into a major fortified islands and they blasted the
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tunnels like the complex where macarthur is going to have his headquarters so you have a military presence on the island and macarthur comport himself with courage and dignity and lost 25 pounds in two and a half month is because he wasn't eating particularly well. it was still not all that great about 1500 to 2,000 calories a day roughly. in other fish and rice kind of things. he had a constant worry over his wife and 4-year-old son and this is a another thing i tend to think has been kind of just breezed over in many assessmen assessments. the war department issued his command in may of 1941 because he knew they would get them out of there. everyone complied except for
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one. they were true soulmates and she was in her late 30s. their young son arthur, three or 4-years-old at that point, were stuck in the philippines with an. that have to have some sort of bearing on his mindset they send out the benefit and imply that he was there leading the troops on the front line and in fact we've only been able to document one instance in which he visited and was in an area there was nothing really going on. he made the claim that one of the communiqué they are interesting to read actually because they are so they made the claim they can do suicide is
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the apartment. that hadn't happened. another that a bomb had exploded but somehow that the great man had survived. there were people lobbying for him to be put in charge of this kind of stuff and of course he's beginning a kind of underground political campaign to try to run for the white house and th in tt year in 1843 and 44 while in active duty. fdr ordered them out february 22, to be exact comingd early march he decided to comply and of course that is a moral conundrum. the president has ordered you to do this because of the reasons i've explored. losing hi him detested that he would be devastating.
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fdr doesn't like or trust macarthur in the personal correspondence they are very nice and slippery with each other and polite and move very gentlemanly in their dealings with each other. but fdr felt there was more to be gained by getting macarthur out of their. for the select members of the staff and he goes to australia, says i shall return to the philippines. he will think in terms of building up an army to go back to the philippines is almost an article of faith, almost a messy commission. he will claim when he gets to australia that he would leave under the pretense he felt there was a reinforcement waiting in australia and he would immediately go back having been
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gone only a couple of weeks. i personally feel that is a little impetuous as that could possibly be the case that is what he would often claimed. before he left, he accepted half a million dollar payment from the treasury that also wasn't known at the time. personal money to him while on active duty and the staff as well, that is about $8 million. needless to say the average american didn't know that. for the person who left behind video is the lieutenant general who was born to be a soldier, the son of a calgary and, had been the first captain since west point class of 06, remarkable by. he holds on as best he can. april 9, 1942, interesting historical base point who
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surrendered here is a georgian who had been of course on details of the civil war and he knew full well that it was more or less the same then general lee surrendered before and that is all he could think about. this earneso this vendor in aprd others by jailing a total of 21,000 americans and probably four times as many filipinos end up dealing with the japanese captivity. the japanese treated them with neglect or outright brutality. so you get a sense of that and that is another thing that i explore. one of the best ways to experience this experience is through the eyes of this guy, the lieutenant colonel harold
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keith johnson class of 1933. this is when he become becomes e for general comes to talking about earlier in life he was with the philippine scouts and had been a commander, staff officer. he has to surrendered along with everybody else and hunger, lower now, misery, chaos, treatment, exhaustion, thinking constantly. the situation unlike other people with this in a stink about johnson, the terrible situation brought up the best in him, not the worst. the vast majority i think it is fair to say would bring out the worst scum o, the struggle for survival. john king it seemed to bring out the very best. a kind of hunger for ethics. it almost equall equally betweee
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and survival. leadership to him was about selflessness and professionalism and if the conditions grew worse, he became more concerned with others and more spiritual he would later say god was very close and very real. they claimed the lives of about 600 americans between five to 10,000 filipinos. the survivors, john and the others were confined to where the conditions were even worse. i want to make it clear you couldn't have been its just for those who have surrendered at the hand hands that everyone enp there for over two months the soldiers died in droves. the small minded, bob told the prisoners there in the speech we will fight you for 100 years. he was a true loser.
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he was a captain whereas his colleagues were all kernels. so he takes out on the americans it makeamericandidn't make the g hell. prisoners waited in line all day into the tropical sun for a canteen of water. chaos reigned, little leadership and there was an award and died to wash in their own filth. that was easier than life in prison or later reflected, it was easier a lot of people pertaining on. after surviving the death march, johnson had malnutrition that landed him in the ward where almost no one lived, but he did. he later said i don't know why but i just know i came out. many others were not as fortunate. by 1942, americans died between 21 to 26,000 filipinos were treated even worse. one in six filipinos about one
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in three. they ended up at the pow camp. until the organization had more medical care to stabilize things into conditions you could describe as poor rather than overt or deadly. he played a major role in this, the restored he began to organize an efficient, fair and commentary system for food, medicine and other necessities from the outside world to help prisoners survive. he was unanimously chosen by his fellow prisoners for the job because of his in peccable consideration for others. he was a student of human nature and quickly figured out how to work with the japanese productively in building trust but also interestingly, deceiving them if it meant that he could get more food, medicine
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for the betterment of his fellow prisoners. he set up a fund to make sure those that were friendless or didn't have much money to purchase things or were in bad shape you could have a general welfare fund that they would be taken care of. that was leadership. through outright lies he kept a secret diary which is fascinating by the way. and the commentary business is booming. the death rate plummeted. life stabilized and normalized to the prisoners are made hungry and underweight prone to disease, but i think that it's fair to say johnson led ultimately to the chief of staff of the army by the 1960s and began during the captivity. he emerged as a great leader due to a striking sense of ethics and accountability. so, i look at us through his eyes and other prisoners than the general wainwright and two
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private soldiers to give you a sense of the larger experience. in the meantime, fortunately for them the war was starting to turn around a little bit for the allies and we go back to the larger map and they had to stave off the potential japanese invasion of australia, and began a counteroffensive in the solomon islands and new guinea. they needed to get new guinea in order to get back to the philippines of course. so the japanese understood this and macarthur's forces are operating on a shoestring of complaint. really didn't like the europe first policy. you can understand why. he felt the priority goes to him. if spread to the south pacific area here especially the fighting at guadalcanal. americans tend to think of the battle fought at guadalcanal and new guinea as two different battles.
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they were not. they were part of the same campaign. it's one of the reasons they lose and they are going to disperse and lose forces to the detriment of both. it is one of the reasons things turn out the way they do in 1942. so, macarthur had pursued a counteroffensive is. we have to realiz realize it's e southern hemisphere to bring that i'm talking about september through december. so, i think that it's clear. here is what he is doing. you want to get the north coast, vernorth coast,very worried thae have pieces on the north coast they are going to use that to come back and grab more of the southern coast to use it as a jump point to go back to australia again. they tried this twice in 1942 and once i land and once i see the famous battle twice that
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they had been turne turned off,e counter from his were time is of the essence. remember also they were carrying the weight of the war in 1942 and 1943. while the americans were starting up they were terribly unprepared for the campaign was going poorly especially the. it was with japanese bunkers and swamps. no word in advance. disease can hold this kind of stuff. there was a national guard unit, michigan, wisconsin, illinois committee had been trained very well but not repaired for the combat. so, the stalemate by the end of november, 1942. macarthur is becoming desperate at this point in terms to a man he has known for many years for some help. this guy right here in the
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middle. i would propose to you the best commander that you probably never heard of. the west point class of 1909 had worked when he was chief of staff. he was the son of a civil war veteran. they are al all trying to seizee father and he's a very successful guy i and a farmer ad lawyer in ohio said he grows up with this kind of yearning for achievement and distinction and kind i've found an avenue to do that being soldier and an infantryman in particular. he served in world war i, surfed with the force to try to squelch
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communism at this stage and served incredibly as an intel officer and other small unit leader and also study the japanese at that point because they were in on the expedition as well. they had met and married from an upper middle class background and they were soul mates joined like that. they had no kids, they had each other. he's like he is like a mini hisd documents. it makes it easy. he has these letters and its remarkable stuff and i think it is kind of under utilized. underutilized. so, he is itching after pearl
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harbor once he goes to get the action to distinguish himself and you know, we the soldiers the way he always knew he could. macarthur briefs him before he takes them or don't come back alive. i think of all the years we've been together you must understand how my respect and love have been increasing. one officer described them as filthy fever ridden practically starved living in a tidal swamp.
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it was kind of awkward for them after the war and its not his fault in this sense. he didn't have much choice. something had to be done. he improves the supply situation and launched an attack. he decides they make the push and everything is the swamp and you have these little route of advance you can get them through. you can't move the big unit around. so he decides you know what, i've got to step back and do this a different way. one of the combat soldiers put it they were practically impenetrable to the fire. you could look right into one of the bunkers and the operations
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reports they couldn't because the units but rather individua individuals. so, they yield to this reality and put constant pressure on smaller units, sort of death by a thousand and decided isn't just a matter of sending them more to do. i need to be there with them so he is there almost every day despite this with a gun in hand leaving the people, challenging their manhood, whatever it takes to go forward and he's constantly roaming around like okay, who wants to go. and he leaves himself. they are wounded fortunately not killed including the very close to chief of staff. they dodge many times and lose 30 pounds and still at once or
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twice a day. the torrential rains poured down almost every day. no one could remember when he had been dry, they later wrote. they were hideous. macarthur in the meantime from the final victory. in the communiqué he himself was at the front leading the troops in combat, which he was not. macarthur is an interesting figure in this sense. he's a very brave man. something that kind of irked him as you could imagine, but the second half of this with the americans didn't realize they were just sitting there holding out as they could try into weight on the reinforcement that never arrived partially because the guadalcanal. they are malnourished, dying in
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droves, the search and wrote with david scourging state of affairs. trees have fallen, the hospital is in a horrible place. what has happened to us? .. >> all along this spot. he is right there in front and
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the fighting peters out. the american very hundreds of bodies. some are carcasses others are skeletons covering the white bones. when it ended michael had won the first ground victory of world war ii. which is largely forgotten today which is unfortunate we are trying to get that publicity that he hungers he is very accommodating with war correspondents and they like him a lot. he was very well-liked throughout the army. he expects that treatment from macarthur and he gets that. [laughter] macarthur once a story to be about macarthur he doesn't want this other guy competing for headlines' over the next year with the training command
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he takes steps behind the scene to scratch a medal of honor nomination. but he holds up the medal of honor and several times folks in the european theater with eisenhower inquired about the normandy invasion and macarthur says no i will not let him go so he sidelined him. he comes to realize this and if he has a character flaw it is that hunger for achievement and then that resentment and feel sorry for yourself. look at his letters and diaries in that. there is a lot of that in there and the resentment against macarthur builds up although he serves him loyally and has a good relationship through 1948 of the occupation
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but nonetheless that anger will stay with him through much of his life when he looks back at macarthur. so in tandem with these victories, the allies begin to continue the advance elsewhere through the pacific so new guinea becomes a major place to negotiate at least that's what he hopes. so that means you have a building up of a major american presence of the world's most forbidding presence with no infrastructure of any kind. humidity and jungle and mountain swamps if you look at new guinea you have malaria. [laughter]
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so they controlled the north coast to keep going to japan and conditions presented a great challenge but greater than the japanese honestly. the army was fighting to battle. with a commander of army service forces at the time average rainfall 150 inches. temperatures in the nineties and beyond. humidity above 90 percent. jungles and swamps teeming with insects and environmental diseases actually was an interspecies war they are fighting against the insects as well and not always winning. 54 percent of all hospital issues were due to disease in 1943 for every soldier the americans were losing in combat with japanese, five were due to disease. almost like the civil war. fortunately malaria was usually not fatal but they lost 12000 men to malaria. when a soldier went down on
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average 24 days in the hospital and usually recurred little mites in the jungle foliage was another problem that was a 5 percent fatality rate. by late 4317 malaria control units composed of the epidemiologist and entomologist and biologists and others were attempting to fight the problem by spraying insecticides what they would call bug bombs. that wasn't appealing they would spread out with these gases killing everything in the area. also flame breeding areas with a diesel fire but the real solution was pharmaceuticals. so there were regular doses
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that would mask the symptoms rather than cure the disease that was the fix but it had side effects. there was psychosis five out of 1000 cases but do you want to roll the dice on that? there were rumors of sterility. that's not true but you can imagine how that would spread from an excuse not to take your pill. especially for the white men that it would yellow your skin so you could tell a war veteran of that era very quickly because he would have yellowish skin. life was hard and brutal almost no amenities by american standards morale was low when commander risked his life only four things keep them women gambling fighting and drinking.
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that's a keeps them happy nothing in the quantity that they desired. [laughter] they would drink jungle juice potato peels and raisins and other beverages in this 180 proof wallet one stereo typical unit one third of the men were too drunk to go on guard duty but even stand up. [laughter] because of severe cultural taboos any fraternization with local women white or black but venereal disease rates were very low but australia some had one third infection rate. such was the sexual tension that the commanders assigned armed guards to escort nurses wherever they went also protect from japanese patrol
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that is what officer said the scourge incidents of sexual harassment was a sign of the times security tightened even more with african-american units coming into proximity with white nurses and black had a special threat and the marshall had thousands of man-hours and resources to hunt down homosexuals leading the resignation of a chaplain with suspicion of another general to see if all of this was necessary or desirable that was row in one report fresh problem drinking and suicide among the troops psychiatrist estimated psychological problems including psychosis and neurosis affected between nine and 10 percent of the soldiers in one extreme case one commander became so despondent
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he committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart while on a date with an australian nurse. athletics helped immensely wherever they had a base there was a league of baseball softball even ping-pong with boxing matches outdoor theaters had a diversion there were occasional interruptions by air raids but nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of movies or live production over a three-month period one base soldiers at 43 different theaters took in 453 shows. this is the picture you would have seen army logisticians worked miracles in new guinea allied armies on the island required 340,000 materials
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just to exist in a place with no roads or infrastructure one was degraded from the elements mold and blankets and medicine had to be protected and stored properly so by the end of 1943 they constructed three quarters of a billion square feet of where space on - - warehouse space such previously barren places turned into a thriving base like an american minicity holding 50000 soldiers the base now has 125 miles of road eight operational runways multiple hospitals. when it would get bigger the next year. during that same time 37 bridge bridges, ten jetties, 20000 feet of pipe line and it ministration buildings were built so sprouting up out of nothing.
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receiving two.1 million tons of material a staggering quantity of stuff so much naval and merchant ships the army maintained a small feet fleet that was named macarthur's navy. so where does that leave us? the split theater under macarthur, palsy down here and the general controlling much of the rest of the resources. so of course the u.s. army wants them fighting here but i should also mention they are fighting in the solomons and the guadalcanal and you name it they are fighting up here in alaska, alaska, and eventually make and is a last chapter of the book so a broad expanse you can see of turning the war around in the u.s.
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army although made a lot of mistakes with deficiencies is maturing into a formidable modern force with effective leaders who have been testing one - - tested under circumstances so i believe it's fair to say it was characterized by fire and fortitude. thank you. [applause] i would love to take questions. >> my father-in-law claimed the japanese spee mine. [inaudible] >> that's true the bullets made it worse they were supposed to be prohibited under the acknowledged rules of warfare but that didn't matter to the japanese the
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americans come up with a weapon that was worse that was napalm that was not kosher but this was in play by 1944 to quite productive to win the war it was a nasty fight that either side did not follow rules. >> i just started reading but i also just read the account of the south pacific general george kenny. >> right after that i read
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another and they each pretend like the other did not exist. >> i think journal kenny was mentioned one time and i don't think the others were mentioned in either one. >> they did not get along with the navy all that well really he becomes the macarthur air commander by 1942 and he turns macarthur onto airpower and everything it can do for all his foibles he began to work very productively with some outstanding subordinates like candy and daniel barbie and of course halsey they got on frame famously that was great. >> was there any evidence of poison gas used during hostilities neither used to them in the pacific war however the japanese in china
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used loads of chemical weapons and biological weapons you name it they used so much we are trying to wrap our minds around it but between the japanese and the western allies they did not. >> so in 1945 i'm sorry 1944 the headquarters of the far east air force and in north korea and then i came back after a total of seven months out because i was sent back
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with post poliomyelitis. >> so you picked up polio while in the theater. >> know i had it as a child. but it was diagnosed by a very important major at the hospital and i found myself on a landing ship and then a transport the next day on the return to america. and i have no secret knowledge or no negative attitude about anybody that was in my organization and our headquarters of the far east air force was the theater and we were on one mountaintop
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that's were general kenny had his headquarters macarthur was on the mountain which was taller by far and then they permitted him to have his house with his son and daughter. >> at that point his son and wife are back in australia and eventually they join. thank you for your service by the way. [applause] >> my wife's father served in india in the air core and came back and had trouble conceiving children for many years and blamed on malaria treatments. so when ambrose and the movie came out i remember reading about veterans started to feel
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slighted and their stories were not told. you alluded to this but when you have spoken with veterans, did that materialize that when they were in theater quick. >> that's a really good question. generalizing a lot of people i have known there is that vague with love resentment that yes we respect the normandy invasion and the paratroopers but why don't you look our way a little bit more that was a little - - that was pretty important but the total of okinawa this will be in the second volume while that was raging ma may 1945, germany surrenders at that point and then the combat soldiers and marines were fighting for their lives in okinawa and the general attitude is great. so what?
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so i do think there is that sense that maybe they were overlooked a little bit but i should also point out that america and world war ii it was like a armenia to be credited we get credited for that so it is a little bit of an overspill from but it is understandable. >> i might add they were never negative about anyone or anything in that theater or war. that i was there to help and not to criticize no uninformed person with a mixture of supporters to mcarthur. he was not all bad. >> absolutely. >> i happen to have the
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opportunity as a buyer for a furniture store to celebrate on my annual buying trip that permitted me to stay at the waldorf astoria and knowing that macarthur was in retirement to stay in the penthouse worked every day as the chairman of the board that then he would leave to go to connecticut but everybody else would work in new york as they
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came out i came to a salute in full citizen dress at 7:00 o'clock in the morning until he turned his head and returned a salute and stared at me until he got into the flow of traffic that is on - - is not an honor necessarily but that is respect as a general in the army i feel that everybody always criticizes you. >> my wife and i were entwined in the 41st infantry division which was one of the
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two with the separation of the d and as a result of that relationshi relationship, over the years we had an opportunity not only to live in australia for a while but with the 41st infantry division was involved in one that i understand you have written about in your book and hopefully in the next book that you write you will touch more strongly. >> i do. but the opportunity to enhance those six days of 1993 and we found a story in itself with those things you have already mentioned i understand there were 19 army divisions at some point during world war ii.
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>> just one actually. >> is there a book that you can raft one - - reference by chanc chance? >> most definitely i wrote the foreword for that book. [laughter] it's a great book. absolutely. [laughter] >> with regards to the severity between the gis and soldiers it is my opinion that the japanese set the ground rules how that war would unfold and so when part two comes out you and i need to get together. [laughter] and also talk about the major
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general so with regards to capitalism in particular when they are fighting and also if you can what was the strategy with regards to the aussies there was a lot of headway against the 162nd infantry division having a major operation. >> right that is later in 1943 but the australians were using armor a little better than americans at that point especially with help that the 4t that is fascinating stuff that you are talking about and they did find evidence of
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cannibalism among the japanese and you will see that later in the war some of those airborne units will see that as well that shows the level of desperation. >> we mentioned china burma india in your next book quick. >> i should've mentioned tonight i have major chapters in this one in that theater 1942 in 1943. fascinating stuff especially the general i believe is the perfect and the worst person for the job. [laughter] years of experience in china and speaks the language and reads the language. he has a great deal of cultural empathy and understanding for the chinese but yet he just cannot, cannot get around that anger over the
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regime he cannot stand anyone else around him and cannot work and look the other way so he is a tragic figure so to see this unfold in this book and then the next book which covers 1944 and 1945 has an epic campaign from the american point of view with the infantry unit fighting in burma under terrible conditions unreal actually and i cover that in depth a great dea deal. [applause] thank you >> i started the book on glass because i kept running into him in my career and joining
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the institute which i represent mutual funds regulated by the sec and then i ask everybody at the sec where did they come from everybody says roosevelt's new deal reform agency. i did a little research that is dead wrong research opposed the sec it was glass who got that and so on and so forth so i was interested in glass. so six years ago i started to do research and reading and it was much more interesting than just the things he had done because there is a paradox about glass that's why it's entitled the unlikely reformer because generally glass was a racist and highly conservative and very reactionary. he made his name in virginia getting the virginia constitution amended
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95 percent of black residents repealed to vote it was a very hard thing to do and he did it and he stayed that way his whole life. very conservative the leading democratic opponent of the new deal with an 80 percent anti- new deal voting record that was a democrat in his personal life also as a reactionary and hated the modern age the perfect curmudgeon or stuffy old or angry old man grumpy old man grew up with horses when automobiles came he wanted to get rid of them and go back to horses elected to the senate they had a telephone system to call the operator and give the number and switch to dial phones he insisted that it go back to operators and the senate agreed so it went back. during the week he lived at
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the mayflower hotel he lived there 25 years he came in on monday and found the lobby was remodeled and he quit the mayflower he was a total reactionary racist reactionary curmudgeon is one side and on the other side he was the author of three of the most important and progressive financial laws in us history the federal reserve act of 1913 glass-steagall act of 1933 and portions of the sec act of 1934. now i can give you the conclusion i spent a lot of time researching and writing but there are points to remember. number one he generally opposed any federal action. number two he made an exception when the action occurred with wall street
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number three he did not believe the way to address wall street was through regulation because he like brandeis another's thought that it never worked and it always failed so instead he believed in breaking up concentrations of financial and political power. those of the three main points you need to know about glass. >> i am so excited to be here


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